Implementing My Kenan Experience into B3

October 1st, 2017 by Emily Warnke

During the 3 weeks that I spent at Siemens, one major aspect was apparent in every department of that facility, the importance of organization and efficiency.  Siemens uses many different “Lean Manufacturing” concepts to allow them to maximize their time and efforts.  Their tool boxes are meticulously labeled and organized.  All stakeholders in a section come together on a daily/weekly basis to insure that lines of communication are open and effective.

As I have written before, I knew that I would not be coming back to an elementary school, teaching students how to build gas turbines! But I definitely have begun to use “lean manufacturing” in B3.

When I was setting up the makerspace this summer, I took care to organize and label all the supplies to model for the students the importance of everything in the proper place.  We have completed several projects so far this year, and keeping order has been a primary focus.  Second graders used makerspace supplies to build better pencils and Fourth graders built boats out of straws, paper cups and duct tape.  Part of the learning experience for these students was learning how to find the resources they needed and how to put them back so others would be able to use them also.

While I don’t have a “Gemba Board” set up in B3,  I have implemented the checking in process at the beginning of class and at the end.  Our kindergarteners and first graders have been working through Active Brain Lab Stations that help to develop strength, endurance, balance, visual tracking, vestibular development and coordination.  We discuss at the beginning of class what each activity helps us with, and then come back together at the end of class to reflect on how we did and remind ourselves why we did it!

By using these techniques, the students are growing in their independence and ownership in their own learning.  Students are required to collect their own supplies and clean up after themselves.  They are reflecting on their successes and learning from their failures.

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